Many of us grew up watching cartoons on TV, and our parents often cautioned us to maintain a reasonable distance from the screen to avoid straining our eyes and developing nearsightedness. However, in today’s digital age, TV screens are not the only screens that capture our attention. We now carry smartphones with us wherever we go, and, sometimes, we inadvertently hold them too close to our eyes. Unlike our parents, there’s no one to remind us to maintain a healthy viewing distance from our phones.
Imagine if we could have a feature on our phones that functioned like a parental reminder, warning us when we bring our phones too close to our eyes. Well, if you’re an iPhone user with iOS 17, you can activate such a feature to safeguard your eye health.
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How does Screen Distance work?
In the most recent update to Apple’s mobile devices, iOS 17 introduces a novel feature designed to assist users in preserving a safe viewing distance from their screens. This feature, known as ‘Screen Distance,’ leverages the capabilities of the TrueDepth camera, which is also utilized for Face ID. It works by gauging the proximity of your eyes to your iPhone or iPad screen.
If you’re in the habit of holding your device too close to your face for extended periods, Screen Distance will provide gentle reminders to encourage you to reposition it at a safer distance. Notably, Screen Distance is automatically activated for children under 13 (subject to regional variations) who are part of a Family Sharing group.
Here’s how to enable Screen Distance on iOS 17
Open the Settings app and access the Screen Time section.
Within Screen Time, locate and select ‘Screen Distance,’ then proceed by tapping ‘Continue.’
You’ll be presented with an explanation of how Screen Distance operates; simply tap ‘Continue’ once more.
Once these steps are complete, your device will periodically assess the distance between your screen and your eyes. If it detects that you’re holding your device closer than 12 inches (30 centimetres) for an extended duration, a message reading ‘iPhone May Be Too Close’ will appear.
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